It depends on the Buddha and the altar which types of mudras we use. When students have to complete the grand mastership, you have to complete the practice in 33 Buddha book. Then you can choose which Buddha to focus on. What kind of altar do you want to have? What is you main altar? Sensei will give everybody which specific manners you should have, depending on your choice. What scope of rituals.
How to live in this present moment; How to create this present moment.
No matter kind of shape Buddha has, we don't often care. Buddha is not a theoretical icon. It is something very important but which is not close to us, usually. In the last moments of life or in certain situations we like to rely on something. This is the belief in religion and in Buddha.
What is Buddha in the modernized world? It is something that we do not see, but without it we cannot live. Without it we are dying and we cannot be human beings. Love and friendship-- These ideas are the same as Buddha and we grip them as close as we can so that we have certainty. When we do not care about family, friends, people, nature, air, water, then we find social problems very near to us in our lives. Social problems are close to our ego and repetitive desires and to some emotions that we cannot hold. In how to create this present moment together, we should have some close tension in the conscience to whatever we live with and what we don't see. If we haven't talked to our father for a while or our friends for a while, or haven't sent a message to a teacher or someone who you have lived with in the past, and if you have some feelings/emotions about something you should have done but you didn't, you can connect with them and these relationships will come closer to your conscience.
There's not so much movement against the lockdown for coronavirus because we understand it well. This is a great opportunity to learn about Buddha's existence. Like the Buddha, we know coronavirus is there but we cannot see it. With coronavirus we are dying, but this is another form of Buddha. We have two different groups of Buddha: very kind, very smiley Buddha, and very angry, very pissed off Buddha. Both are working toward the same purpose.
San Mitsu: Three Secrets. Thinking like Buddha, speaking like Buddha, and behaving like Buddha is a totally opposite behavior policy compared to human beings. Human beings: We think badly and are self-centered in order to preserve our life. We have to be greedy and lead people wrongly. However, there is a way to control our ego, desire, and anger so that it becomes thinner in our experience. Humans beings have come to the point where we cannot handle things nicely. We (previous generations) are stepping on our own feet because we created technology, industry, and new matter which are heavily pressing on our social and physical bodies and lives. The last thing we have to hold onto is the belief in something that we do not see. What is the typical definition of something that we do not see? Universal rules, laws. In ancient times and one hundred to two-hundred years ago we didn't have electricity or internet, so when the sun came up we woke up and when the sun went down we slept. We payed great appreciation and care to neighbors, which is what we do not see as much today. We often do not know much about our neighbors or about people who we work with truly. We are living in this moment and we are also connected to the social community and global self. Social problems are directly connected to our lives. The ripples and influence that we are creating with our thoughts, our behavior, and our speech are definitely going towards the world's values and social state. We use the three secrets to empty our mind, take away our egotistical intentions and stop wrongful actions and wrongful behavior. Which policy should we follow? If we follow our own policy then we are egotistical to do our best to preserve our life and body; however, our aggregated ego creates certain world values, world situations, and world problems. Coronavirus is a great kick to change our patterns of thought, speech, and behavior because coronavirus is something that we cannot touch-- something that we have to follow and understand. We don't have a controllable universal standard yet because the virus is so small. A private university in Japan and global research institute found that the antibody of the coronavirus is one-tenth smaller than the usual viruses we have seen, so there are no machines or procedures ever built or created to manage the virus, which means that we have to wait a year or two for the new developments. Nonetheless, we have to make a living and create this present moment all together. We can think of something and live in someway, somehow, but which policy and what kind of standard should we follow? We should open our minds to listen and find out the global and universal policy standard. We don't have to push ourselves too much. What kind of world should this be? What kind of world do I want to create? There is a policy, the universal policy , and it has never changed and has never been fragile.
Reference: Songs from The Greatest Showman: "A Million Dreams" and "Rewrite the Stars." We are the stars. With what can we reflect the stars? We can realign and recreate the surface of ourselves to be the greatest people. We can make the world with our million dreams. We can place the bold policies and ideas that have been going on for millions and millions of years. We can call those the Buddha. We can learn and find the Buddha around us, in religion, it's up to you. What is the Buddha thinking and what is the Buddha telling us, and how can we reflect the Buddha's intelligence and light, and anything that leads to the bright future. The lockdown situation is not going to be long, as long as we are changing ourselves and rewriting the surface of ourselves.
Use emotional expression during Shomyo practice to connect to the Buddha. We'd better express the three dimensional world with the voice with howling and the resonance and people can pick up on that we are expressing the vortex of the Buddha world. Later there are more complicated chants to learn.
Memorize all of Juhachido up to Hyōhyaku. While we move the stick during Kaji Kōzui, we must say the English or Japanese contemplation in our minds and visualize how the virtual world is built. Make the spiral with the sanjō as you turn the scented water into the milky water. In ancient times in Buddhism and Hinduism and Christianity, when the world collapses, the guardian, God, Buddha came down to the earth and the first thing they did was mingle and shake the clear water into the milky water in a spiral gesture. The milky water is the first step to make a new world after the world corruption. Every ritual starts with the official visualization, which is to mingle and shake clear water into mill water to restart. We are stepping into the seat in front of the alter to split our physical body and virtual/astral body (material and feelings). In the steps that lead up to Kaji Kōzui, we prepare ourselves to split our body and mind. At Kaji Kōzui everything is separated and we can spin everything into the very clear, soft, flexible ground. At this point we are ready to build castles, spaces, create visualization, make a story.
Discontinuity, unfinished jobs, not ending what we started makes us worry. You do not have to stop practice that has no time limits, but in the real world we always need the starting and the ending of a project. When we finish something we started we have the opportunity to look back to see what we did and and what we earned from the past, and then we can clearly see the future.
When we do visualizations, we use scent, sound, color, shape. These are very important. Training by climbing to the top of a mountain or dipping into the freezing cold spring water is very useful to practice using Mikkyō vizualization to adapt to the wilderness. If the water is freezing cold, we can use our minds to feel warm in the freezing cold water. We can use scent, sound, color, shape, and experiences to change our state of mind in a given situation, whether in the wilderness or in society. The Mikkyō visualizations are your gift and method that leads to good outcomes and good consequences. Good practice leads to the creating of the avatar VR, virtual reality, in great detail with your senses attached. Over time we experience how far, how detailed, how well you imagined by seeing the result. After things start happening well, this is the level that you have to maintain. Train your own way in how you can deploy the five senses skills into your imaginary process. The Mikkyō chanting helps to strengthen the Mikkyō visualizations.
We can concentrate on the true heart connection, the world of the Buddha. If we mute the microphone on zoom, we cannot understand what's going on, but with a true heart connection we can still feel the vibration.
Shomyo is always used in the beginning and the ending of the ceremony. It is the chant where we can step into two totally different worlds and coexist- the material and spiritual. Consonants: the more we advance into society, a lot of consonants are created. Consonants are the sign of the human invention. The five vowels: are the human feelings. The combination of the human inventions and the human feelings creates a word. In Asia and South East Asia we care about the tones and depth of amplitude. The Chinese character contains at least sixty-four meanings. 8 x 8. The Chinese character and Japanese character are very similar. Japanese characters are the most simplified word as the Chinese character, but with the same depth. If we get into the Buddha world, we have to spread our body into the physical world and the spiritual world where we technically split the word into the man's world- the consonant world, and the emotional/spiritual world- the vowels. What we can emphasize is the vowels. All sounds are made from dots that make a line. When practitioners chant alone for the Buddha, they vibrate so much that it is not appropriate for guests/customers.
We have a very simple scalability for monks.
We have five levels of understanding:
1. Understand what is said; surface: "I got it!" But they don't actually understand.
2. Understand the meaning.
3. Understand perfectly to adjust everything.
4. Totally understand enough to teach people.
5. Totally understand enough to lead the hold the community and people within the circle to the truth.
We cannot always be perfect. A monk may be good in business, good in chanting, so-so in lecturing, pretty bad at folding clothes, etc. We respect, though, the monk who doesn't speak. We respect how they behave, how they eat, how they sit, stand, walk. The person themselves are art. We have to be the level at which we don't have to say anything, but people wonder who we are.
Most people don't set the goals of what kind of person they want to be. Once you set who you want to be, becoming is easy. You are doing something good for yourself and good for the community. Make alignment every day for you new habits. The fixed goals can be changed in the next year.
Rishukyo is normally chanted very quickly and chanted in different chapters, not fully, in order to fit the clients demands for the context of the deceased person, etc. No matter what kind of speed we chant, our imagination must match up with our chanting body.
How to live in this present moment.
We are living with uncertainty, but meditation will help us with how to make the uncertain certain.
Reflection is when we have something to compare. It is neither positive nor negative. How can we reflect, compare, and evaluate to see things clearly? We can put uncertainty on the left side and certainty on the right side and reflect upon it.
The Historical Buddha invented great tools: numbers. People saw the cube in ancient times as the greatest invention because in nature we cannot see a flat, straight line anywhere. Everything was a naturally made shape, not flat or straight. The Historical Buddha participated in the invention of the cube because he used a lot of numbers.
People use expressions such as, "I want to be thinner," but a more quantitative, clear, and goal-oriented expression is, "I am going to lose ten pounds in three months." An expression with numbers is more clear, and words that share a feeling can be vague.
Historical Buddha and Kukai used a lot of numbers and figures for reflection. We repeatedly say this one paragraph everyday at every ritual: "All of the unwholesome actions I have committed in the past were due to my greed, malice, and foolishness throughout the beginning of time and came about from my actions, words, and thoughts. I now repent for every one of them." Even though we repeatedly say this one paragraph everyday at every ritual, it is still uncertain/vague. How many actions did we commit? What kind of words did we speak? What kind of thoughts? What kind of shape were they? Reflections should take a more quantitive approach sometimes to make sure how well or how badly we behaved. The uncertain world and uncertain things are always expressed with words only: "Corona virus is very strong and we don't know anything about it." We can use a more numeric approach to make the topic more detailed and certain: "Coronavirus effects people from ages __ and ___ and lasts for about ____ days."
We cannot live without any footprint. Once a footprint is left, we are making causes for the past, present, and future. Reflection is to try to make sure that what we are doing is exposed in different ways by different people. If we want to change all uncertainty into certainty in what we are doing, we can try using numbers, and our senses become sharper. In the case of the "A" breathing meditation, we can imagine specific lengths, height, weight, and colors of the fog that we are breathing in.
We cannot always use the quantitative approach in our spare time and homes because these are places where we focus on quality for stability and happiness. We can switch the numbers oriented to feelings oriented. The more we reflect from different angles, we can exercise our minds like the rulers and the governors of the world. We can consciously reflect with number sometimes, and we can reflect with words sometimes. We should be able to control the scope of uncertainty and certainty to have the intention to see everything clearly. This helps to establish who we are.
We are making a life, we are living in this life, with or without intention. We have no intention to make harm of someone or something, we are not breaking any rules, we are just living; but, this is equal to san go, the three karma. No matter where we are, what kind of occasion, we are making a sin.
Ten Aku, Juzenkai: Ten evil subjects and points of behavior which turn ourselves to reflect. Reflection is the best, highest protection and solution. If we stop the three san go, this means that we have to die. Without our physical body, with no actions recognized, this means that you no longer live in this world and you have become a Buddha/Tathagata. We reflect means that we live. We create karma and then we forgive, we grow up, we convert, etc. Life is like the cat and mouse race and we always chase after our shadow.
We have a physical body and internal feelings and outside feelings. We are consuming or producing, so things are always changing, and we are, or should be, reflecting on what we do as well. This process creates friction. We don't want to die, we want to live, but we create sins and karma. While we have the three karma we should be purified, and while we purify we have to live with the three karma. This friction creates a sponge. We have to live with creating the sponge to polish both surfaces. Every time we create the josango mudra, we push the middle fingers out because they represent the fire, which needs to be out in this context because it represents ego/karma. The fire is one of the power sources to move something, but in the context of san go, fire should be translated as ego/karma. If we push the karma out from our body, we are purifying our sins out of our behavior. Every time we form the josango mudra, remember the meaning: "Eliminate and purify the ten evil acts you have committed through the three actions [of body, speech, and mind], thus perfecting a pure ablution of the inner mind." -Juhachido Nenju Kubi Shidai.
The kanso (imagination) part of the practice is very important. The more we practice, our imagination speed and flexibility is well-developed so that we can have good moments of reflection. We reflect because we are able to imagine; Without imagination, reflection can never happen.